We once again borrow from a relevant and smart post by Eric Kimberling, CEO of Panorama Consulting, adviser to large companies implementing ERP systems. We think they do a nice job in a recent post of asserting why some people are afraid of the change that often accompanies a new system implementation.
- Fear of losing your job. While the fear may be unfounded, the perception will drive resistance “that may not have been apparent when everyone was praising the opportunities for improvement during the ERP selection process.” A simple reassurance that employees’ jobs are not at stake will usually resolve this issue.
- Fear of perceived diminished value to the organization. Says Kimberling, “Even if employees do not fear losing their jobs, they may fear that they will no longer add the same value to the organization they once did. The person spending half of their time gathering data and putting together fancy spreadsheets for analysis is undoubtedly going to feel threatened if the need for that role no longer exists. An effective organizational change management plan is critical in addressing these concerns and helping them understand that while their role may change, their value to the company is not being undermined.”
- Fear of not being in control of business processes and procedures. How often have you seen an employee that takes pride in “owning” certain business processes or being the only one that can perform those functions? “Assuming a new ERP system will diminish the reliance on that one person – and in many cases, it will – they are going to resist the change.”
- Dislike of standard, shared business processes. Some employees like improvising, or being seen as critical to the operation, rather than following standard processes. Or they just don’t like being told how to do their jobs. Whatever the cause, this dislike of common and shared business processes across the organization is a very real and common source of resistance to change.
- Inability or unwillingness to accept change. Some people are more difficult than others, right? Training can neutralize resistance for the employee without the abilities or skill set to embrace the change. “In the case of simple unwillingness to change, it is unlikely that the employee will ever accept or support the change, in which case it may come time to sever ties with the employee.” It’s important to understand the root cause for the resistance and build an organizational change management plan specific to those root causes.